For many football fans, The Big Game Night is the biggest party of the year. While tailgating and viewing parties are usually known for the deep-fried, high-calories, carb-centric foods, the good news is that there are plenty of delicious options that will not only score big in taste, but will keep you on track for a healthy 2016 season. Here are three simple, crowd-pleasing recipes for the Big Game Night that are easy on the waistline.
Artichokes are loaded with vitamin C and fiber, providing numerous health benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single medium artichoke delivers 15 milligrams of vitamin C and 41% of the daily recommendation of fiber. Add to that the creamy goodness of parmesan cheese and it’s no surprise that this staple also provides a hefty dose of calcium, making artichoke dip an irresistible nutrient-rich snack.
To make this delicious chunky dip, combine one 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) with ½ cup each of light cream cheese, grated parmesan cheese and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Mix in ¾ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella, ½ teaspoon each garlic salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon each of chopped scallions and parsley. Place the mixture in a baking dish and top with ¼ cup each of parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Chips and Broccoli Guacamole – “Brocc-amole”
There’s no denying the health benefits of avocado which are loaded with healthy fats and vitamins. Unfortunately, it’s also loaded with calories which can add up when combined with other game-day treats. This version swaps out avocado for broccoli with amazing results. Enjoy a creamy, low-cal dip (about 1/3 the calories of traditional guacamole!) with less fat and twice the amount of protein, while taking advantage of a nutrient powerhouse.
Making “brocc-amole” is a easy. Cook 3 cups of chopped broccoli in salted water tender. Drain and add to the food processor along with 2 oz of fat free cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 chopped jalapeno, 2 tablespoons of chopped green onions, 1 tablesspoon of chopped cilantro and ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and chili powder. Process until smooth and serve with chips or dippers of your choice.
Turn up the heat with these Asian-inspired vegetarian tacos, filled with protein-packed tofu and veggies.
To make the filling, cube a block of firm tofu. Bread lightly in panko breadcrumbs and bake at 400o for 10 minutes on each side. For the sauce, combine 1 tablespoon each of Szechuan sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and soy bean paste with ½ cup of water and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook over high heat for a few minutes until it begins to thicken. To assemble the tacos, add tofu, shredded carrots and cabbage, and sauce to the flour tortillas. Finish with chopped scallions for a satisfying crunch!
Packed with healthy unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium and loads of antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin B-5, vitamin K, and folate, there’s no reason to leave avocados off your game-day menu. Just go easy if you’re watching calories since they are quite calorie-dense.
Here’s a different take on fries that are sure to keep your guests hovering around the snack table. To prepare, cut 2 avocados into ½ inch wedges and prepare for frying by dipping wedges in flour mixed with ¼ tablespoon kosher salt, then beaten eggs and finally panko bread crumbs. Heat up 1 ½ inch of canola oil in a saucepan and fry avocado wedges in the heated oil until golden, approximately for 30 – 60 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and season with salt and/or pepper to taste.